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Fellows Directory

Butler Lampson

Butler Lampson

Professor Butler Lampson ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2018


At Xerox PARC, Butler Lampson designed much of the Alto personal distributed computer system, which introduced graphical user interfaces, what-you-see-is-what-you-get editing, laser printing, local area networks and client-server computing. He has worked on computer security for more than 50 years, and on many other aspects of computer systems, including computer and network architecture, operating systems, programming languages and their semantics, programming in the large, fault-tolerant computing, transaction processing, and tablet computers. In addition to the Alto, he was a designer of the SDS 940 time-sharing system, the Xerox 9700 laser printer, two-phase commit protocols, the Autonet LAN, the SDSI/SPKI system for describing trust, the Microsoft Tablet PC software, and several programming languages.

Butler is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft. He is a member of the US National Academies of Sciences and of Engineering, and holds honorary ScD’s from ETH Zurich and the University of Bologna. He received the ACM Software Systems Award for the Alto, the IEEE’s Computer Pioneer award and von Neumann Medal, the Turing Award, and the NAE’s Draper Prize.

Professional positions

Technical Fellow, Microsoft Research New England, Microsoft Inc

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Computer sciences
    • Computer science (excl engineering aspects)
  • Engineering
    • Computer engineering (including software)
  • Other
    • History of science
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